Over Half European Domain Names Are ccTLDs, But .COM Has Higher Visibility

Globally domain name registrations have grown 2.0% in the 12 months to the end of June, the latest CENTRstats Global TLD Report Q2/2018 reports, but growth rates vary markedly among top level domains. For example, in the 12 months .com grew 5.2% while their Verisign stablemate .net declined 6.0%.

The CENTR report covers the global status and registration trends in all top level domains (legacy gTLDs, new gTLDs and ccTLDs), with additional focus on the European ccTLD market. The overall 2.0% growth saw total domain names registered, or domain names under management, grow to around 337 million.

The report also found a number of African country code top level domains (ccTLDs) such as .ng (Nigeria), .ke (Kenya) and .za (South Africa) have seen strengthening growth. Other ccTLDs that are growing strongly include .ai (Anguilla, often promoted as a TLD for artificial intelligence), .uz (Uzbekistan), .nu (Niue), .az (Azerbaijan) and .mx (Mexico).

Within Europe ccTLDs grew by an average of 2.9% and make up an estimated 62% of the domain name market. Average growth rates across the European ccTLDs mostly ranged from 2 to 4% annually; however, deletion rates of the top 25 have increased in 2018.

Over the past 2 years, the report found ccTLDs in Europe have seen significant stabilisation of long-term average growth rates. This stability is also reflected in annualised add and renewal rates, which average 18.6% and 80.4% respectively. However, the average deletion rate of the top 25 largest ccTLDs has been increasing marginally over the course of 2018. Average deletion rate (annualised) at the end of the second quarter was 14%.

In many European countries, the local ccTLD is the dominant TLD in terms of local registrations, with an average market share of 54% (calculation includes local registrations of non-local ccTLDs such as .eu). However, analysis of the top 500 web pages shows that .com holds higher visibility in page views, although it’s worth noting that many of .com sites in the top 500 are some of the most visited sites globally.

For gTLDs, globally they grew 1.6% in the year to the end of June to 189 million with the largest, .com, accounting for 40% of these registrations. Average growth of the 300 largest gTLDs is around 12% with the deletion rate showing signs of decline.

Among new gTLDs, the report notes many are still in growth phase with add ratios averaging 40% and renewal rates still relatively low. Average add and park ratios are both stable and deletion rates have been declining over the past 12 months.

The report is available to download from here.